Senior International Officer

The Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) is a non-profit think-tank aiming to support informed debate on energy and climate change issues in the UK. It is funded by philanthropic foundations and works with an Advisory Board that includes expert academics, MPs and Peers from a range of parties and backgrounds, and civil society in the broadest sense.

In November 2020, the UK will for the first time host a United Nations climate summit. The timeline of the Paris Agreement makes this summit a critically important one, with expectations on the UK to lead delivery of meaningful outcomes. The summit also offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to deepen understanding of and engagement across UK society with climate change and the transition to a net zero economy.

We are recruiting a Senior International Officer to develop and deliver our work leading up to the 2020 summit. Over the year we will be working with a wide range of stakeholders and media to develop understanding and promote discussion of the context in which the summit takes place, its importance and relevance, and the implications of potential outcomes.

Working to ECIU’s Director, the Senior International Officer will be tasked with helping to develop and implement ECIU’s strategy during 2020. This will involve building relationships with a range of stakeholders in Parliament, science, business, civil society and other walks of life; finding imaginative ways to advance their engagement leading up to and through the summit; and helping them tell their stories to the rest of the nation. (S)he will also play an active role in building awareness and understanding of the UN process and the 2020 summit in media of all kinds.

This is a senior position, and as such you will be able to demonstrate at least a decade’s-worth of active engagement in climate change or a related field, spanning both the international and UK landscapes. You will have a keen interest in UK and international politics. You will be able to operate in line with ECIU’s position as a politically neutral, evidence-based organisation, working proactively and professionally with stakeholders from a wide range of backgrounds.

You will have a sound and practical knowledge of the UN climate process and the Paris Agreement, and a top-level overview of the evidence relating to the imperative for and feasibility of a global low-carbon transition. You will have attended multiple Conferences of the Parties – possibly as a negotiator, an academic, a journalist, or as part of a business or civil society delegation. A skilled communicator, you will be able to spot ways of talking about and promoting engagement in the process that resonate outside of the ‘climate bubble’.

You will be able to write briefing documents that explain the arcane elements of the UN process engagingly to lay readers, to spot opportunities for media engagement, and give interviews for written and broadcast media. You will be equally comfortable giving a talk to an audience of Parliamentary researchers, chairing a meeting of business sustainability officers or briefing a reporter from a tabloid newspaper.

The ability to explain complicated concepts to non-specialists is essential, as is excellent command of the English language. Successful applicants will be able to demonstrate strong communication skills, both written and verbal. Equally important is the ability to approach communications strategically, with desired outcomes determining workstreams and deliverables.

In a small team such as ECIU’s, staff need to be flexible, to respond quickly and confidently when events demand, to cover each other’s functions when needed, and to take initiative without waiting for direction. The successful candidate will be a proven self-starter and team player. Some degree of travel in the UK will be involved, including a fortnight in Glasgow for the summit itself.

Key responsibilities

  • Develop and implement a strategy for reaching and engaging key audiences, identifying opportunities for engagement
  • Clearly and engagingly communicate the UN climate negotiations and issues relevant to it to the widest range of audiences
  • Analyse and assess political, social and economic developments relevant to the 2020 summit
  • Write clear and incisive briefings, articles for publication, blogs and reports, and contribute broadcast interviews as needed
  • Build up good relationships with key external stakeholders.

Experience and Competencies

Essential:

  • A genuine interest in the mission and values of ECIU
  • History of engagement with and demonstrable knowledge of the UN climate process. Good network of contacts pertinent to the UN negotiations
  • Very strong communication skills, written and verbal. Excellent command of the English language
  • Ability to approach communications strategically – to develop strategies for outreach and communication with a wide range of stakeholders

Experience in a fast-paced and wide-ranging work environment

  • An understanding of the British media and how it works
  • Proven diplomatic and interpersonal skills, good team player
  • Independent highly motivated self-starter, ability to work alone as well as part of a small, flexible team
  • Understanding of and ability to work well with a broad range of cultures
  • Ability to work effectively on multiple workstreams at once

Desirable:

  • Experience of giving interviews for written and broadcast media
  • Capacity in another UN language
  • Established relationships with active delegates to the UNFCCC

Terms and Conditions

This full-time position is offered as a one-year contract. It is unlikely that the post will continue beyond one year.

Salary is £54,000-60,000 per year, depending on experience.

We envisage that the post-holder will principally work full-time in ECIU’s central London office, but will consider other working arrangements for the right candidate. Some degree of flexibility is necessary, with occasional out-of-hours work needed and setting ‘getting the job done’ as a priority – but this flexibility works both ways.

Travel within the UK and abroad may be necessary from time to time. Holiday entitlement is 30 days per year, plus statutory holidays. ECIU also provides an auto-enrolment pension scheme with Aviva.

How to apply

Please send a CV and one-page cover letter to admin@eciu.net before midnight on Monday 2nd December 2019. Interviews will be held in the week commencing December 16th, with the aim of the successful applicant starting as early as possible in the New Year.

Please also include a copy of a recent article published in print or online, preferably on a topic pertinent to the UN climate process; or write a short (c. 600 words) blog on an issue of current relevance to the UN climate process. In both cases, please also give the intended audience for the piece.